Alex Mighten blasted a hat-trick as England U18s overcame an early setback to open a four-nation tournament with an entertaining victory over Australia.
The exciting Nottingham Forest winger hauled the hosts back into the game at Leicester Road FC after Noah Botic opened the scoring for Australia from a fifth-minute penalty.
Goalkeeper Ahmad Taleb could have done better with Mighten’s 21st-minute shot but went on to defy England with a series of good saves.
Mighten’s second in the 36th minute was a superb solo effort when he used his pace and skill to contrive the opening for an angled finish.
A storming run by Liverpool’s Layton Stewart midway through the second half enabled Mighten to tap in at the far post to complete his treble before Trent Ostler ensured a tight finish by beating substitute goalkeeper Nathan Broome to a through ball and stabbed into an empty net.
- Men's U18 International
- Friday 6 September
- Leicester Road FC
Fast-moving England enjoyed the better of the play throughout but were given their own share of problems through impressive Aussie counter attacks.
Ben Knight clipped the bar and forced a good save whilst Fabio De Carvalho and Lewis Bate also called the busy Australian goalkeeper into first-half action.
England were again quick out of the blocks after the break with Knight, De Carvalho and Stewart close to scoring although Tristian Hammond crashed a low shot inches wide at the other end.
Birkan Kinder went closest to equalising for Australia but Taleb performed heroics to keep out substitutes Morgan Rogers and Joe Gelhardt.
England U18s: 1 Louie Moulden (Manchester City); 2 Valentino Livramento (Chelsea), 6 Nathan Wood (Middlesbrough), 15 Dynel Simeu (Chelsea); 12 Matthew Bondswell (Leipzig), 14 Jensen Weir (Wigan Athletic), 16 Lewis Bate (Chelsea), 20 Fabio De Carvalho (Fulham); 17 Ben Knight (Manchester City), 19 Layton Stewart (Liverpool), 18 Alex Mighten (Nottingham Forest).
Substitutes: 22 Nathan Broome (Stoke City) for Moulden 46; 8 Yunas Musah (Valencia) for Knight 64; 11 Morgan Rogers (Manchester City) for Bate 64; 7 Noni Madueke (PSV Eindhoven) for Stewart 70, 9 Joe Gelhardt (Wigan Athletic) for De Carvalho 79; 10 Cole Palmer (Manchester City) for Mighten 79
Substitutes not used: 3 Haydon Roberts (Brighton & Hove Albion), 5 Teden Mengi (Manchester United), 4 Miguel Azeez (Arsenal), 13 James Trafford (Manchester City), 14 Jenson Weir (Wigan Athletic).
Goals: Mighten 20, 36 & 65
Head coach: Ian Foster